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    Celiac Disease Diagnosis Fuels Biathlete’s Battle Back to the Top

    Jefferson Adams
    • Celiac disease was holding back world class biathlete Emily Dickson. Her diagnosis and gluten-free diet are helping her get her mojo back.

    Celiac Disease Diagnosis Fuels Biathlete’s Battle Back to the Top
    Caption: Image: CC--Guillaume Baviere

    Celiac.com 04/26/2018 - Emily Dickson is one of Canada’s top athletes. As a world-class competitor in the biathlon, the event that combines cross-country skiing with shooting marksmanship, Emily Dickson was familiar with a demanding routine of training and competition. After discovering she had celiac disease, Dickson is using her diagnosis and gluten-free diet a fuel to help her get her mojo back.

    Just a few years ago, Dickson dominated her peers nationally and won a gold medal at Canada Games for both pursuit and team relay. She also won silver in the sprint and bronze in the individual race. But just as she was set to reach her peak, Dickson found herself in an agonizing battle. She was suffering a mysterious loss of strength and endurance, which itself caused huge anxiety for Dickson. As a result of these physical and mental pressures, Dickson slipped from her perch as one of Canada's most promising young biathletes.

    Eventually, in September 2016, she was diagnosed with celiac disease. Before the diagnosis, Dickson said, she had “a lot of fatigue, I just felt tired in training all the time and I wasn't responding to my training and I wasn't recovering well and I had a few things going on, but nothing that pointed to celiac.”

    It took a little over a year for Dickson to eliminate gluten, and begin to heal her body. She still hasn’t fully recovered, which makes competing more of a challenge, but, she says improving steadily, and expects to be fully recovered in the next few months. Dickson’s diagnosis was prompted when her older sister Kate tested positive for celiac, which carries a hereditary component. "Once we figured out it was celiac and we looked at all the symptoms it all made sense,” said Dickson.

    Dickson’s own positive test proved to be both a revelation and a catalyst for her own goals as an athlete. Armed with there new diagnosis, a gluten-free diet, and a body that is steadily healing, Dickson is looking to reap the benefits of improved strength, recovery and endurance to ramp up her training and competition results.

    Keep your eyes open for the 20-year-old native of Burns Lake, British Columbia. Next season, she will be competing internationally, making a big jump to the senior ranks, and hopefully a regular next on the IBU Cup tour.

    Read more at princegeorgecitizen.com

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, and science. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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